UPDATE: Clewiston cuts ribbon on new VA clinic

"Grumpy" is a Korean War vet who, like other local vets, will no longer need to drive 90 minutes to the coast for primary care.

“Grumpy” is a Korean War vet who, like other local vets, will no longer need to drive 90 minutes to the coast for primary care.

Editor’s Note: The VA Clinic’s operating hours were reported incorrectly in the original version of this article published Sept. 16. The correct hours are now listed at the end of the article.

“I was a grunt, a killer. I got out in ‘57. I still have a few nightmares on it. That’s why I go to the VA. Now I won’t have to go Wast Palm anymore,” said one Korean War veteran who identified himself facetiously as “Grumpy” as he sat in the lobby of the Hendry County Health Department Tuesday morning.

Grumpy was one of several vets awaiting the grand opening of the brand new Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Clewiston.

The VA clinic, located in the existing Hendry County Health Department Building on Olympia Street, will offer preventative medical care to veterans by medical doctors, registered nurses, licenses practical nurses and a certified medical assistant.

The clinic will also utilize Tele-Health technology to allow patients to communicate with doctors when needed via webcam.

The Clewiston location is one of two recently opened VA clinics in Hendry and Glades counties, the second being in Moore Haven.

The clinic’s opening comes after a long-fought battle waged by local advocates and organizations, including VA service officer David Abney and former Department of Health Director Pat Dobbins, whose mission it was to ensure the health and well-being of the men and women who sacrificed for freedom and democracy.

City and county officials, representatives from Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Nelson’s offices, doctors and directors from Florida Department of Health and VA Medical Center in West Palm Beach celebrated the opening of the new clinic with a ribbon cutting Tuesday morning.

Clewiston city and Hendry County commissioners remarked on the importance of the VA clinic for local veterans and their families who will not longer need to make the 90 minute drive to either coast.

Local officials, VA members, Health Department directors and representatives from the offices of Sen. Rubio and Nelson cut the ribbon at the new VA clinic in Clewiston.

Local officials, VA members, Health Department directors and representatives from the offices of Sen. Rubio and Nelson cut the ribbon at the new VA clinic in Clewiston.

County Commissioner Janet Taylor said this was just the beginning of what was to come for the area’s vets, while Mayor Phillip Roland, who is a member of the VA himself, emphasized the importance of the care received from the organization.

The Clewiston clinic is located at 1100 Olympia Ave. and will be open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Moore Haven clinic is located at 1021 Health Park Drive and will be open Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In the coming months, those hours will be expanded to 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at both clinics.

Call 866-383-9036 for more information or to make an appointment.

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